Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ex-Twin Cities Archbishop Nienstedt Takes Michigan Church Post

By Peter Cox

Note: This article was first published January 13, 2016 by Minnesota Public Radio News.

Archbishop John Nienstedt, who stepped down in June as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has taken on a temporary pastoral role at a church in Battle Creek, Mich.

Nienstedt resigned the Twin Cities post after Ramsey County prosecutors charged the archdiocese with failing to protect children from a predatory priest.

The charge followed two years of revelations about the failure of the archdiocese to protect children from sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. Nienstedt, who served eight years as Twin Cities archbishop, admitted no mistakes in his resignation letter.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Nienstedt should've been defrocked, not reassigned.

"This move sends precisely the wrong message to Catholic employees," he said. "The message it sends is, no matter how severe your wrongdoing is, you'll always have a job in the Catholic Church."

According to the bulletin at the St. Philip Catholic Church (.pdf), Nienstedt will fill in for the head priest, who is undergoing medical treatment, over the next six months.

Nienstedt will perform some weekend and weekday masses, visit the sick and celebrate mass for nursing home and assisted living facilities. He'll also fill in for other priests in the diocese when needed.

Nienstedt could not immediately be reached for comment. The Diocese of Kalamazoo said in a statement that Neinstedt was a priest in good standing and was welcome at the St. Philip Parish.

Related Off-site Links:
Ex-Archbishop John Nienstedt Goes to Michigan Parish – Jean Hopfensperger (Star Tribune, January 13, 2016).
Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Robert Finn Have New Homes Outside Former Dioceses – Brian Roewe (National Catholic Reporter, January 14, 2016).

See also the previous PCV posts:
CCCR Responds to the Resignation of Archbishop Nienstedt
In the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, "Regime Change is Not Enough"


  1. As it currently stands, it seems that Roman Catholic ordination does give a man the right to financial maintenance for life. We need to change the permanence of ordination as employment or we need a policy for re-employment of ordained who have lost trustworthiness. Where and how is this policy being formulated?

  2. In GOOD Standing????? What earns BAD Standing?